There have been many instances in American history where lawmakers became close friends even though they were from opposing parties. House Speaker Tip Ol’Neill and President Ronald Reagan had an intimate relationship. Even President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner could come to terms with their differences. George H.W. Bush’s close friend was President Bill Clinton. Bush is very close friends with President George W. Bush.

Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan would be friends on Facebook if they were alive today. However, that is not the case for most lawmakers.

CNN last week reported that many House of Representatives feel they are in an increasingly toxic environment at work. This is one that has been characterized by bitter exchanges and threats as well as fears over the loss of decorum.

Just weeks ago, two Republicans and Democrats censured Rep. Paul Gosar for sharing an animated social media video that showed the death of Rep. Alexandria OcasioCortez.

Anti-Social Conduct

It is clear that legislators are not shy in their disdain for one another. A series of exchanges took place between Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert (Colorado) and Democratic Rep. Ilhanomar (Minnesota). After the two spoke on the phone, which seemingly only made matters worse – each took to social media to call out the other!

Not just political enemies from the same party are sharing their dirty laundry via social media. Two Republican lawmakers took to Twitter Tuesday to vent their frustrations to each other.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, a Republican from Georgia, expressed dissatisfaction with Rep. Nancy Mace (R.S.C.), reaction to Rep. Boebert’s hostile remarks towards Rep. Omar. Greene accused Mace, instead of her fellow Republicans, of aligning with Omar and progressive wing Democrats.

“@NancyMace, the trash at the GOP Conference. Never attacked by Democrats or RINO’s (same thing) because she is not conservative, she’s pro-abort. Mace you can back up off of @laurenboebert  or just go hang with your real gal pals, the Jihad Squad. Rep. Greene wrote, “You’re out of your league,” (@mtgreenee).

Rep. Mace fired back, “*you’re. And, while I’m correcting you, I’m a pro-life fiscal conservative who was attacked by the Left all weekend (as I often am) as I defied China while in Taiwan. The only thing I am is not a racist or religious bigot. It might be worth trying that in your own little “league.”

Mace shared some colorful Emojis that drove home her point.

Such hostility – even among those on the same side of the aisle – is likely only to get worse before it gets better. This shouldn’t be viewed as a good thing for democracy.

Matthew J. Schmidt, Ph.D. is an associate professor of political science, national security, and political science at Yale University.

It fires up your staff You can also see the other side. But you get clicked either way. Schmidt said that there is a political purpose to generating attention in this way, even though it involves attacking someone within your party. This is a Machiavellian view of this behavior. This is a clear message to the world that those who break professional code of conduct can be seen as immature children arguing online.

Schmidt stated that most people have become accustomed to it by now.

He suggested that he thought it “disturbs the atmosphere for debate and it makes us more cynical.” Cynicism is a killer of democracies. If people want to manage themselves, they must trust one another.

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